Boys Tennis: 2017 North Season Recap

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Winning a WPIAL Class 2A championship has become old hat for Sewickley Academy.

That's what happens when a team does it 14 consecutive times.

It was how the Panthers did it that made this season one for the ages.

Sewickley Academy went 23-0 in team matches this season, but in their 23 wins, they only lost four individual matches, two each against Peters Township and Mt. Lebanon. That means the three singles and two doubles tandems, independent of the actual WPIAL and PIAA singles and doubles tournaments, won 111 out of 115 individual matches for a winning percentage of .965.

If that was all the Panthers did, that would be impressive, but they also put up a couple of accomplishments that are going to be hard to equal.

Sewickley Academy became the third school -- Harriton in 2004 and Lower Moreland in 2008 -- to win the PIAA Class 2A team title and sweep the singles and doubles crowns. On the way, senior Luke Ross became the first singles player from the WPIAL to repeat as state singles champion since Jack Waltz of Mt. Lebanon won three straight from 1961-63.

Senior Ryan Gex became the first WPIAL player ever to win a doubles title all four years and he and his playing partner, Neil Rana, became the first WPIAL tandem to win a Class 2A state championship.

Things were not as good in Class 3A as the WPIAL failed to have a representative in either the state singles or doubles finals since 2012. Sophomore Robby Shymansky, a 2016 state runner-up and 2017 WPIAL second-place finisher, lost to eventual state champion Michael Dickson for the second consecutive year.

Fox Chapel did, however, repeat as WPIAL Class 3A team champions.